Middleton Mountain offers trails for a variety of hikers. At the summit, you will be rewarded with a 360-degree view encompassing Kalamalka Lake, the Coldstream Valley, Vernon Hill, Silver Star Mountain, the Spallumcheen Valley, Swan Lake, the City of Vernon, Turtle Mountain and the Commonage.
To get a good workout and experience most of the trails and parks of Middleton Mountain, try the circle trail. The Middleton Mountain Circle Trail begins at the Kal Beach parking lot and climbs to the summit of Middleton Mountain, passing through Middleton Mountain Park, Farnsworth Nature Reserve, and McKergow Meadows Natural Area, and it returns back to the Kalamalka Beach parking lot. Sections of the circle trail pass through residential neighbourhoods. The total hike is approximately six kilometres and takes 2.5 hours. Portions of the trail are steep and require good fitness. Dogs must be on a leash.
You can break down the circle trail into the following individual hiking components:
Kal Beach Connector Trail, easy, level; access at east end of Kal Beach parking lot.
Creed Loop, easy, level; former orchard owned by the Creed family with old fruit trees and remnants of the Grey Canal irrigation system. Access north of Kidston Road (off Kalamalka Road); or east end of Cortland Place.
Neumann Connector, challenging, steep; connects Creed Loop up the vertical slope to Middleton Way offering enjoyable views of Kalamalka Lake and Coldstream valley. Access at east end of Creed Loop; or Middleton Way (at Mt. Moberly Place).
Middleton Mountain Park includes an easy level loop trail, parking, tennis courts, beach volleyball court, tot playground, basketball hoop, and a large playing field. Access from Mt. Ida Drive; or Mt. York Drive.
Farnsworth Nature Reserve situated at the summit of Middleton Mountain, protects the native grassland and wildlife. Bluebird Trail, North Loop, Middle Loop, and South Loop trails offer stunning views. Dispersed along the hiking trails are newly installed interpretive signs describing the geology, flora, and fauna of Middleton Mountain.
Test your knowledge while hiking. Visit the Ribbons of Green website at ribbonsofgreen.ca and download a scavenger hunt under the News tab. Use facts from the interpretive signs to complete the scavenger hunt.
Access from Mt. Ida Drive (across the street from Emerald Views housing development, up steep staircase); or east end of Mt. Tanner Place (up steep service road).
McKergow Meadows Natural Area, easy, level; features Mud Lake, a marshy pond and habitat for ducks, geese, toads, and salamanders. Access from Husband Close; or from M.t Ida Drive (south of Emerald Views housing development).
Brochures with a map of the Middleton Mountain trails and parks are available at the Vernon Recreation Complex, Regional District of North Okanagan, District of Coldstream, and Vernon Visitor Centre. The brochure can also be downloaded from the Ribbons of Green website at ribbonsofgreen.ca.
Ingrid Neumann is with the Ribbons of Green Trails Society.